On Friday night, Trey Anastasio headed to Colorado for his first of two nights at Macky Auditorium Concert Hall in Boulder, CO.

To start off his only multi-night run of the tour, Trey dusted off “Snowflakes In The Sand”, a staple of his 1999 hybrid acoustic/full band solo tour that had gone unplayed since the end of that run nearly 20 years ago. “Sleep” came next, followed by some reflections on the beautiful venue for the evening. “This is beautiful, I love this room,” he mused. “I don’t know why, I’m feeling kind of misty tonight… Because I’m old [crowd laughs]. It means a lot to me, so much. Thank you for welcoming me back.” He went on to note how Colorado was the first place Phish used to travel as they began to break out from their Vermont hometown.

“We drove out there in this big box truck the first time. We were so excited we were gonna go to Telluride. … It was our first tour, we had never left Burlington for any reason. We got this weird little box truck, and there was a compartment in the back of this thing, no windows. The rest of us would sit in the back on piles of blankets. … [The guy that brought us out] said we were supposed to have seven shows, and we came all the way out here and we found out that this guy was full of shit, and we had one gig in Telluride. … We went through all these adventures on our first trip. And then we ran out of money, we didn’t get paid, we were flat broke. Everybody pooled their quarters, and we had to make the drive back to Burlington. We didn’t have any food, we had enough money set aside for gas. We went to this grocery store—this is the memory I had—it was like, Mike [Gordon] and Page [McConnell] and the guys in the band…debating what food sustenance would get us from Colorado to Burlington for the whole drive. We ended up buying a turkey ham. It’s an actual thing. I think, somehow, we thought that it was two things in one [laughs] … We climbed in the truck with this turkey ham and just ate it all the way back…”

After the trip down memory land, Trey continued with “Mountains in the Mist”, “Sample In A Jar”, and  Kasvot Växt Halloween debut-turned-acoustic tour staple “Turtle In The Clouds”. “Free” got the call next, before storytime continued with more crowd-prompted discussion of the aforementioned “turkey ham.” That tangent prompted Anastasio to reference last weekend’s performance in Oakland, when he declared his hatred for kale. “You guys like kale? You kale fans?” he asked. “I have to say, I did, a couple shows ago, pronounce ‘fuck kale,’ and then sang ‘fuck kale’ ‘cus I was sick of kale. I was over this whole kale thing. Fuck kale! Fuckin’ kale. That was, like, two shows ago. And then last night, I had the best kale salad [laughs]. It was so good! Had like blackberries in it, some really good dressing. I started feeling really guilty about the whole thing. I was so mean to kale. … So tonight, I’m officially pronouncing ‘un-fuck kale!’ Kale is back! Go kale. Un-fuck kale. That’d be a good t-shirt. Next acoustic tour, that’s the merchandise. Un-fuck kale.” Clearly amused by the thought, Trey would go on to pepper in his “un-fuck kale” rallying cry throughout the remainder of the show.

He went on to relate a thought he forgot to mention during his recent show in L.A.: “Shawshank Redemption is not the best movie of all time. OK? Can we just end that one right now, too? [laughs] OK? Unfuck kale, and Shawshank Redemption is not the best movie of all time. It’s fine. It’s a fine movie.”

Before moving into the next tune, Trey had one more thought he felt the need to share. “Oh my god…I just realized. I think we spelled ‘Phish’ wrong! Fuck. I’m so sorry! [laughs] I’m, like, settling all family business right now. We officially apologize for that mistake [laughs]. I think it’s spelled wrong. Really sorry about that.”

After finishing with the “family business,” Trey continued into “Brian and Robert”, followed closely by “If I Could” and a well-received “The Lizards”. Another instrumental staple, “The Inlaw Josie Wales”, came next, followed by “Set Your Soul Free”, “Frost”, “Sand” and “Back on the Train”, and a sparse, sing-along “Ghost”.

After some appreciative banter about monitor engineer, Bruno—”the most important part of Phish being able to improvise”—while adjustments were made, Trey moved into “Till We Meet Again”. Following the instrumental, with his microphone now in working order, Trey told an amusing story about how a miscommunication with an old monitor engineer led Trey to fall through a hole in the stage, ending with the advice, “Don’t smoke crack, kids. [laughs] That’s the lesson for today! Eat your kale…un-fuck kale!

From there, he moved straight back into the music with Kasvot tune “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” While he played, he relayed to the audience that he had another layer to the song that he didn’t sing on Halloween, instructing them to sing the chorus while he added the missing part. The crowd obliged, making for a satisfying performer-fan collaboration to finish the song.

“Waste” came next, followed by “Strange Design” and “Bouncing Around The Room”. “Thank you guys so much for welcoming me…” Trey said as he pondered his next number. “These songs do bring back a lot of memories, and we really have been coming here for so long.” Seeming to latch onto a new idea, Trey noted, “I haven’t played this in a really long time” before moving into “Glide II” (also known as “Flip”). Trey wasn’t exaggerating: The song, only played once, is a lost relic of Phish’s 1995 Voter’s Choice show that also marked the introductions of “Theme From The Bottom”, “Free”, “Ha Ha Ha”, “Strange Design”, and the still-elusive “Spock’s Brain”.

Trey Anastasio – “Glide II”

Following the second-ever performance of the rarity, Trey moved into “Blaze On”, which in turn flowed into “Backwards Down The Number Line”. Finally, “Chalkdust Torture” made a late-show acoustic appearance, once again serving as the bread for a sandwich with a “Harry Hood” jam in the middle. Finally, Trey returned to the stage for a four-song encore of “Shade”, “Water In The Sky”, “Pebbles and Marbles”, and “Bathtub Gin”.

You can download a full audience recording of Trey Anastasio’s first of two Boulder acoustic shows here via taper sloppyart, or stream the audio below on YouTube. You can also view a beautiful gallery of photos from the show via photographer C.B. Klein.

Trey Anastasio Solo Acoustic – 12/14/18 – Full Audio

[Video: Fatah Ruark’s Live Music Archive]

Trey Anastasio will close out his solo acoustic swing with his second performance in Boulder tonight, Saturday, December 15th. From there, the guitarist will switch back into Phish mode as the band prepares to return to Madison Square Garden for their annual four-night New Year’s run at the end of the month.

Setlist: Trey Anastasio Solo Acoustic | Macky Auditorium Concert Hall | Boulder, CO | 12/15/18

Set: Snowflakes in the Sand, Sleep, Mountains in the Mist, Sample in a Jar, Turtle in the Clouds, Free, Brian and Robert, If I Could, The Lizards, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Set Your Soul Free, Frost, Sand, Back on the Train, Ghost, Till We Meet Again, Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S, Waste, Strange Design, Bouncing Around the Room, Glide II, Blaze On > Backwards Down The Numberline > Chalkdust Torture > Harry Hood Jam > Chalkdust Torture

Encore: Shade, Water in the Sky, Pebbles and Marbles, Bathtub Gin